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Effects the "HAB" can't observe

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

    Well yes. To have a paradox you basically need two things. The Hypothetical/Actual Bystander must (correctly) think that the Mage caused the effect and the Hypothetical/Actual Bystander must think that the mage couldn't have caused the effect. That's the paradox*. When the HB thinks the mage had nothing to do with the effect that invalidates one of the elements of the paradox. When it thinks the mage's actions could reasonably have caused the effect that invalidates the other.

    *It's implied that Paradox is more complicated in universe, but this is the foundation of the Hypothetical Bystander test.



    The Coincidental/Vulgar divide is not there to keep magic from being too powerful. It may do that by accident in quite a number of cases, but that is not the purpose. The purpose is to keep the real world looking like the real world.
    Which is why causing accidents, a sad part of daily life, is coincidental and many real world phenomena could get a Mage paradox if they tried to replicate it. There are many times our actual real world doesn't seem real. And on the other claw many things that might even seem normal or unremarkable aren't possible.

    A clever Mage needs to know what the Sleepers think is real.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

      Well yes. To have a paradox you basically need two things. The Hypothetical/Actual Bystander must (correctly) think that the Mage caused the effect and the Hypothetical/Actual Bystander must think that the mage couldn't have caused the effect. That's the paradox*. When the HB thinks the mage had nothing to do with the effect that invalidates one of the elements of the paradox. When it thinks the mage's actions could reasonably have caused the effect that invalidates the other.

      *It's implied that Paradox is more complicated in universe, but this is the foundation of the Hypothetical Bystander test.



      The Coincidental/Vulgar divide is not there to keep magic from being too powerful. It may do that by accident in quite a number of cases, but that is not the purpose. The purpose is to keep the real world looking like the real world.
      {Emphasis mine}

      I am definitely not an expert on Paradox, but it does not seem right that a Bystander must be able to perceive the connection between the Mage and the Effect. For example, if a Mage snuck up behind a Bystander unnoticed, or was concealed nearby, and then cast a Vulgar Effect (e.g. summoned or created an illusion of a dragon to appear) that was perceived by the Bystander, it does not seem right that the Mage being hidden should cancel the resulting Paradox.

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      • #18
        As I may have said earlier, the rule of thumb is that establishing a connection between the mage's actions and the effect can potentially make an otherwise Vulgar Effect Coincidental; but it can never make an otherwise Coincidental Effect Vulgar.


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        • #19
          Originally posted by Kharnov View Post

          {Emphasis mine}

          I am definitely not an expert on Paradox, but it does not seem right that a Bystander must be able to perceive the connection between the Mage and the Effect. For example, if a Mage snuck up behind a Bystander unnoticed, or was concealed nearby, and then cast a Vulgar Effect (e.g. summoned or created an illusion of a dragon to appear) that was perceived by the Bystander, it does not seem right that the Mage being hidden should cancel the resulting Paradox.

          You are correct. I should have said Paradox happens when the Bystander sees a cause (or lack of cause) and thinks that the cause (or lack of cause) couldn't possibly have led to the event. I was focused more on cases where the Mage does something the HB would notice and take into account, but I should have been more general.


          Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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          • #20
            Two things are also worth noting:

            !) It's important that the "HAB" is not seen as "What if I plucked a random person in the area and made them see this?". The HAB is an amalgam of the averages of all people in the Reality Zone - education, beliefs, etc.
            This is important in order to understand how the Reality Zones work - or rather, how they can be changed. The HAB always represents what you'd get if you combined all folks in the Zone, and average'd their properties.
            This also eliminates the problem of "But what *if* the randomly plucked HAB happens to have an education in X and Y?".

            2) Paradox very, veeeeery seldomly strikes after the casting of an effect has already happened, in 20th. Usually it's more a matter of the standing effect being dismanteled by unbelief, rather than Paradox striking after the fact. Paradox either usually hits when the Arete roll has happened, or it doesn't.


            Both these things bring us to the example in the OP, of a Mage chanting in latin, touching some guy, and that person getting cancer.

            * At the time of the casting, folks just see the Mage being a weirdo. Just being a weirdo does not cause Paradox. Insert Florida Man joke here.
            * Nothing is happening at the time that would make the HAB go "WTF this is not possible!". Which is, kind of, usually the main cause for Paradox. So we're still good.
            * Some time later (perhaps weeks, perhaps months) the person gets diagnosed with cancer - if they get a diagnosis in. The magic has long passed, The person has the affliction, and now we get to a little piece of irony (Or Blatancy?): Exactly because the HAB would go 'This is not possible!' if somebody told them that the latin-chanting guy was the original cause back then, the HAB instead simply goes for natural causes. Folks get cancer. It happens, and it can be very random. Nothing to see here.
            Last edited by Ambrosia; 06-29-2021, 05:55 AM.


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